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racter, and so situated as to have it in their power either to serve you, or to annoy you, according as you treat them, for allies, or for enemies. QUINTUS CURTIUS.



WHEN I reflect on the causes of the war, and the circum stances of our situation, I feel a strong persuasion that our united efforts on the present day will prove the beginning of universal liberty to Britain. For none of us are hitherto debased by slavery; and we have no prospect of a secure retreat behind us, either by land or sea, whilst the Roman fleet hovers around. Thus the use of arms, which is at all times honourable to the brave, here offers the only safety even to cowards. In all the battles which have yet been fought with varions success against the Romans, the resources of hope and aid were in our hands; for we, the noblest inhabitants of Britain, and therefore stationed in its deepest recesses, far from the view of servile shores, have preserved even our eyes unpolluted by the contact of subjection. We, at the farthest limits, both of land and liberty, have been defended to this day by the obscurity of our situation and of our fame. The extremity of Britain is now disclosed; and whatever is unknown becomes an object of importance. But there is no nation beyond us; nothing but waves and rocks; and the Romans are before us. The arrogance of these invaders it will be in Vain to encounter by obsequiousness and submission. These plunderers of the world, after exhausting the land by their devastations, are rifling the ocean: stimulated by avarice, if their enemy be rich; by ambition, if poor:.insatiated by the east and by the west; the only people who behold wealth and indigence with equal avidity. To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and when they make a desert, they call it peace.

Our children and relations are, by the appointment of nature, rendered the dearest of all things to us. These are torn away by levies to foreign servitude. Our wives and sisters, though they should escape the violation of hostile force, are polluted under the names of friendship and hospitality. Our estates and possessions are consumed in tributes; our grain in contributions. Even the powers of our bodies are worn down amidst stripes and insults, in clearing woods and draining marshes. Wretches born to slavery are first bought, and afterwards fed by their masters: Britain continually buys, continually feeds her own servitude. And as among domestic slaves every new comer selves for the scorn and derision of his fellows; so, in this ancient household of the world, we, as the last and vilest, are sought out for destruction. For we have neither cultivated lands, nor mines, nor harbours, which can induce them to preserve us for our labours; and our valour and unsubmitting spirit will only render us more obnoxious to our imperious masters; while the very remoteness and secrecy of our situation, in proportion as it conduces to security, will tend to inspire suspicion. Since then all hopes of forgiveness are vain, let those at length assume courage, to whom glory, to whom safety is dear. The Brigantines, even under a female leader, had force enough to burn the enemy's settlements, to storm their camps; and, if success had not introduced negligence and inactivity, would have been able entirely to throw off the yoke: and shall not we, untouched, unsubdued, and struggling not for the acquisition, but the continuance of liberty, declare at the very first onset what kind of men Caledonia has reserved for her defence?

Can you imagine, that the Romans are as brave in war as they are insolent in peace? Acquiring renown from our discords and dissensions, they convert the errors of their enemies to the glory of their own army; an army compounded of the most different nations, which, as success alone has kept together, misfortune will certainly dissipate. Unless, indeed, you can suppose that Gauls, and Germans," and (I blu-h to say it,) even Britons, lavishing their blood for a foreign state, to which they have been longer foes than subjects, will be restrained by loyalty and affection!

Terror and dread alone, weak bonds of attachment, are the ties by which they are restrained; and when these are once broken, those who cease to fear will begin to hate. Every incitement to victory is on our side. The Romans have no wives to animate them; no parents to upbraid their flight. Most of them have either no habitation, or a distant one. Few in number, ignorant of the country, looking around in silent horror at the woods, seas, and a haven itself unknown to them, they are delivered by the gods, as it were, imprisoned and bound, into our hands. Be not terrified with an idle show, and the glitter of silver and gold, which can neither protect nor wound. In the very ranks of the enemy we shall find our own bands. The Britons will acknowledge their own cause. The Gauls will recollect their former liberty. The Germans will desert them, as the Usipii have lately done. Nor is there any thing formidable behind them: ungarrisoned forts; colonies of invalids;, municipal towns distempered and dis tracted between unjust masters, and ill-obeying subjects. Here is your general; here your army. There, tributes, mines, and all the train of servile punishments; which whether to bear eternally, or instantly to revenge, this field must determine. March, then to battle, and think. of your ancestors and your posterity.

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In the midst of a wide and open pluin, Henry found Stephen encamped, and pitched his own tents within a quarter of a mile of him, preparing for a battle with all the eagerness, that the desire of empire and glory could excite, in a brave and youthful heart, elate with success. Stephen also much wished to bring the contest between them to a speedy decision: but, while he and Eustace were consulting with William of Ipres,, in whose affection they most confided, and by whose

private advice they took all their measures, the Earl of Arundel, having assembled the English nobility, and principal officers, poke to this effect:

It is now above sixteen years, that, on a doubtful and disputed claim to the crown, the rage of civil war has almost continually infested this kingdom. During this meJancholy period, how much blood has been shed! what devastations and misery have been brought on the people! The laws have lost their force, the crown its authority: Jicentiousness and impunity have shaken all the foundations of public security. This great and noble nation has been delivered a prey to the basest of foreigners, the abominable scum of Flanders, brabant, and Bretagne, robbers rather than soldiers, restrained by no laws, divine or human, tied to no country, subject to no prince, instruments of all tyranny, violence, and oppression. At the same time, our cruel neighbours, the Welch and the Scotch, calling themselves · allies or auxiliarics to the Empress, but in reality enemies and destroyers of England, have broken their bounds, ravaged our borders, and taken from us whole provinces, which we never can hope to recover; while, instead of employing our united force against them, we continue thus madly, without any care of our public safety or national honour, to turn our swords against our own bosons. What benefits have we gained, to compensate all these losses, or what do we expect? When Matilda was mistress of the kingdom, though her power was not yet confirmed, in what manner did she govern? Did she not make even those of her own faction and court regret the king? Was not her pride more intolerable still than his levity, her rapine than his profuseness? Were any years of his reign so grievous to the people, so offensive to the nobles, as the first days of her's? When she was driven out, did Stephen correct his former bad conduct? Did he dismiss his odious foreign favourite? Did he discharge his lawless foreign hirelings, who had been so long the scourge and the reproach of England? Have they not lived ever since upon free quarter, by plundering our houses and burning our cities? And now, to complete our miseries, a new army of foreigners, Angevins, Gascons, Poictevins, I know not

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who, are come over with Henry Plantagenet, the son of Matilda: and many more, no doubt, will be called to assist him as soon as ever his affairs abroad will permit; by whose help, if he be victorious, England must pay the price of their services: our lands, our honours, must be the hire of these rapacious invaders. But suppose we should have the fortune to conquer for Stephen, what will be the consequence? Will victory teach him moderation? Will he learn from security that regard to our liberties, which he could not learn from danger? Alas! the only fruit of our good success will be this; the estates of the earl of Leicester, and others of our countrymen, who have now quitted the party of the king, will be forfeited; and new confiscations will accrue to William of Ipres.

But let us not hope, that be our victory ever so complete, it will give any lasting peace to this kingdom. Should Henry fall in this battle, there are two other brothers to succeed to his claim, and support his faction, perhaps with › less merit, but certainly with as much ambition as he. What shall we do then to free ourselves from all these mis fortunes?-Let us prefer the interest of our country to that of our party, and to all those passions, which are apt, in civil dissensions, to inflame zeal into madness, and render men the blind instruments of those very evils, which they fight to avoid. Let us prevent all the crimes and all the horrors that attend a war of this kind, in which conquest itself is full of calamity, and our most happy victories deserve to be celebrated only by tears. Nature herself is dismayed, and shrinks back from a combat, where every blow that we strike may murder a friend, a relation, a pa rent. Let us hearken to her voice, which commands us to refrain from that guilt. Is there one of us here, who would not think it a happy and glorious act, to save the life of one of his countrymen? What a felicity then, and what a glory, must it be to us all, if we save the lives of thousands of Englishmen, that must otherwise fall in this battle, and in many other battles, which, hereafter, may be fought on this quarrel! It is in our power to do soIt is in our power to end the controversy, both safely and honourably; by an amicable agreement, not by the sword. Stephen may enjoy the royal dignity for his life,

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